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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Controversial Prop. 206 could ban public smoking

    Tucson locals and former UA students Drea Colores, 30, and Casa Video clerk Madeline Porta, 26, relax yesterday yesterday evening in Ches Lounge.
    Tucson locals and former UA students Drea Colores, 30, and Casa Video clerk Madeline Porta, 26, relax yesterday yesterday evening in Che’s Lounge.

    A proposed public smoking ban could affect businesses near campus and has elicited mixed reaction from students.

    Proposition 206, the Arizona Non-Smoker Protection Act, aims to prohibit smoking in enclosed public places and places of employment, with the exception of bars at the owner’s discretion.

    If the proposition passes, students can expect to see changes at locations such as Bison Witches, a move that could impact business.

    Smoking is not allowed inside the bar until 10 p.m., but if Prop. 206 is passed, then smoking will no longer be allowed indoors and those who wish to smoke will have to use the patio, said owner Tom Partridge.

    However, under the proposition, bar owners can choose to allow smoking as long as the bar is closed off and separately ventilated.

    Christine Johnson, a manager of O’Malley’s on Fourth Avenue, said that smoking is allowed throughout the bar with the exception of the dining room during the week.

    “”If the proposition passes, I think that what other bars along Fourth Avenue and around Tucson do in terms of allowing or prohibiting smoking will definitely have a direct impact on traffic coming through our doors,”” said Johnson. “”But whether that means more smokers coming here or more leaving here ultimately depends on a decision that has not been made yet.””

    Other local bar owners do not believe that Prop. 206 will set in place any major changes for their business or students.

    Dave Goodroe, a manager of Trident Grill and Bar, said his business already has a smoke-free policy.

    “”Whether or not 206 is passed by the voters, it will have absolutely no effect on Trident,”” he said. “”We are currently trying to change from a bar atmosphere to more of a restaurant atmosphere, and our no-smoking policy will remain in place regardless.””

    Steph Royden, a biology senior, said she staunchly opposes the proposition because it is unfair to smokers.

    “”Bars are known to be a popular hangout for smokers,”” Royden said. “”They have never reserved a separate room for people to smoke before, so why all of a sudden are they changing the law now?””

    Megan Lustigson, a health education senior, said bar owners should make the final decision, although “”it would be nice”” if all bars were smoke-free.

    “”Exposing people that do not smoke to second-hand smoke is extremely unhealthy,”” said Lustigson. “”Not only does second-hand smoke expose people to severe health risks, but it also makes your clothes, hair and the atmosphere smell,”” she said.

    But Royden said smoking is a normal and popular social action that is not offending anyone.

    For people who don’t like smoke in a bar, they should relocate, Royden said.

    “”Smoking in public places is not yet completely illegal,”” said Royden. “”I’m not using anyone’s lungs but my own, so why does everyone care so much?””

    Prop. 206 will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

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